DA Remains Tight-Lipped About Leftwich Case

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor is cautioning people not to jump to conclusions about a fatal hit and run case.

Taylor spoke with 13 News for the first time since he filed first degree murder charges against Dustin Leftwich for the death of 18-year old Brenna Morgart.

Taylor says the answers to most questions will have to wait. He says professional standards prohibit him from discussing information that relates to specific evidence in the case. Because of that, he declined to elaborate on just why his office is pursing a first degree murder charge against Leftwich, but he stood by what the legal definition of the charge requires - that Morgart's death was intentional and premeditated.

Taylor says evidence to support the charges will be presented at an August 27th preliminary hearing. Prosecutors indicated they expect it to take that long to get all evidence back from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Taylor declined to say what that evidence is. He also declined to comment on whether he might file additional charges or change the charges against Leftwich. He would only say that prosecutors would have the option to file an amended complaint until the time a jury is seated.

Asked about rumors surrounding just what happened to Morgart the day she died, Taylor emphasized that his office will deal in the facts that are gained through the evidence and through interviews with the people involved. He says prosecutors do not engage in rumor or speculation, and that their information will not come from blogs or chatrooms.

Leftwich is being held on $1 million bond for charges related to Morgart's death and an incident last summer, where authorities say Leftwich chased a 15-year old with his car.

The Topeka Capital Journal reports Leftwich was on probation for a juvenile sexual assault conviction. The DA's office said Wednesday that they are seeking to have his probation in that case revoked. A date for a hearing on the request is not yet set.


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